tv Today in Washington CSPAN May 5, 2011 6:00am-9:00am EDT
>> the hearing will come to order. thank you for joining us today. by events that we obviously have no way of predicting, the issues that are in front of this committee at this point in time, or even more compelling and more relevant than they would have been anyway. and they were relevant and compelling under any
circumstance. we have been planning these hearing for some period of time. mostly because july represents that critical moment when the president will be making important decisions about our policy in afghanistan. but for all of the obvious reasons, this is a seminal moment as we deliberate about our foreign policy and or national security interests. the death of osama bin laden is obviously an event of enormous consequence. his wealth, his iconic stature, gained by multiple murders and terrorists acts, going back to 1993 or so, his ability to plot, organize, direct, motivate, and recruit terrorists, all of those things made him a unique threat to our country and our allies. bin laden's death dealing an
enormous blow to al qaeda's ability to operate. it doesn't end the threat, however, but still it is a major victory in the long campaign against terrorism waged by our intelligence agencies and our military. this event enhances america's security and brings us closer to our objective of mismantling and destroying al qaeda. tragically, nothing can erase the bitter memories of september 11th, 2001. the haunting images has been forever sered in our minds. the twin towers burning, people jumping hand in hand to escape. the building collapsing, floor upon floor successively, on themselves in a cloud of dust and destruction. but we remember to the heroism of america's finist, the police,
the firefighters, the emergency workers who gave their lives. these images and the realities that they meant and mean still today for nearly 3,000 families and for millions of people around the world will never be forgetten. for anyone who has challenged america's right to go after osama bin laden and there have been some, let them remember and consider the shameless, cowardly attack out of nowhere that bin laden unleased on the innocence of all of those that suffered. and that he then laughed and bragged about. in the wake of world war ii, it's hard to believe that one man's evil aspirations could again so convulse the world. so occupy our resources and transform our lives. but he did. now thank god he is dead. that death needs to be a lesson to all that embrace violence and
anarchy and the guys of religious rectitude. the united states means to do whatever they take to protect ourselves and meet out justice to those that wantedly murder and maim. bin laden is dead. but the fight against the violence and hatred that he fermented is not over. in fact, there are many questions. many more than we might have thought raised as a consequence of the events of the last 48 hours. it is important for us and this committee to think through and find answers to these questions. one the reasons we're hear this morning is to examine how osama bin laden's death affects the conflict in afghanistan. and it's implications for our upcoming troop withdraw, our transition strategy, and our
partnerships in the region. this hearing is the first of six in the next three weeks. it builds on the 14 hearings that we held in the last congress on afghanistan and pakistan. and we are fortunate to start with a well qualified panel of witnesses. dr. richard haass, president of the council and foreign relations and friend of the committee. he held many senior government positions, including working, director, u.s. coordinator towards the policy and the future of afghanistan. he's join by one the professors that recently returned to princeton of woodrow wilson schools policy planning. rounding out the group is three time ambassador ronald neumann who currently serves with the president of the american academy of diplomacy. like his father in the 1960s, embassy neumann served as the
envoy to afghanistan from 2005 to 2007 and recently returned from trip there. we thank you all for coming. we look to a vigorous discussion. i would just say quickly before we begin, turn to my colleagues, senator lugar. as we know in two months, president obama will unvail his strategy for drawing down our forces so that afghans can assume a greater responsibility for their country and their future. our military is making significant end roads. clearing the south, particularly, of insurgents. we are trying to regain some of the areas this spring. we also know insurgents are spreading into other areas in afghanistan, as we drive them from their bases in the south. clearly the challenge is not only on the battle field.
despite the grill of our troops, the military and civilian leaders have repeated the mantra, there is no military victory to be had in afghanistan. that is true then we accept that it is, we need to fashion the political resolution. out of these hearings i hope that we can achieve a discussion with our partners about how this war ends, what an acceptable end state looks like, and what steps we need to take to get there. with the death of bin laden, some people are sure to ask why don't we just pack up and leave afghanistan. so it's even more compelling that we examine carefully what is at stake, what goals are legitimate, and realistic, and what is our real security challenge and how do we achieve the interest of our country? what type of afghanistan do we plan to leave so that we may
actually achieve those objectives? and how will that peace be achieved? our reentry graduation of thes, frankly, have had limited impact so far. reconciliation maybe more promising in the long run, but it will not be fast, and it is not a silver bullet. and there maybe no grand bargain to be had with mollar omar. but one the questions that looming in front of us is how if at all the death of osama bin laden and the recent events affected the answers to those questions. some taliban appear to be willing to negotiate. there are different tiers of taliban. so the united states needs to send a strong and consistent message that we support a political solution led by afghans. it will be difficult as it was in iraq.
but afghans themselves have to make the hard choices to bring stability to their own country. so as we debate the end state, it is inevitable that we need to factor in also what can we afford to do in light of our budget constraints and reality in the country. we will spend $120 billion in afghanistan this fiscal year. and our decisions on resource allocations there affect our global posture elsewhere as we see today in the middle east with the crying challenge of egypt, tunisia, and other countries. we have to ask at every turn if our strategy in afghanistan is stainable. our military strategying need to support afghanistan as we draw down our forces.
we have to consider the regional concepts. and what the presence there says about the vie license -- alliance and perspectives for peace. pang -- sanctuaries continue to threaten the perspective for peace. we must address pakistani concerns about the what end state will look like. all of this will take patient, careful thinking, it will take strategic decision making, and it will take a lot of patience and determination. i am confident that we have the ability to achieve our goals and to get where we need to get to. i thank each of you for joining us this important moment. senator lugar, my pleasure to turn the floor to you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank you in welcoming the distinguished witnesses.
i thank you for holding the series of hearings on afghanistan and pakistan the days ahead. these hearing are especially timely, as you pointed out, giving the killing of osama bin laden, americans are gratified by the skill and encourage demonstrated by our intelligence professionals and our troops. this is an important achievement that yields both symbolic and practical value as we continue to fight terrorism globally. as a prelude to our series, i would offer four observations about the ongoing united states effort in afghanistan. first we are spending enormous resources on a single country. the president's budget request for fiscal year 2012 included more than $100 billion for afghanistan. we have approximately $100,000 american troops in afghanistan. and another 31,000 in the region
that are supporting afghanistan operations. we spent $9.2 billion in 2010. we are spending more than $10 billion this year just to train afghan security forces. president obama has requested nearly $13 billion for training in 2012. simultaneously we're spending roughly $5 billion per year on civilian assistance mechanisms in afghanistan, at a time when most foreign assistance projects worldwide are being substantially cut. second, the threat to the united states national security do emanate from within afghanistan's borders. they may be the most serious lets and afghanistan may not be the most likely source of an
attack. last year, janet napolitano, and director of national terrorism center mike leiter said in testimony that yemen is a most likely source of an attack against the american interests in the short term. american sources devoted to yemen had a tiny fraction. further we know that al qaeda has a for more significant presence in pakistan than afghanistan. the third and broad scope of the activities in afghanistan appearing to be devoted to remaking the economic, political, and security culture of that country. but we should know by now that such grand nation building ambitions in afghanistan are beyond our powers. this is not to say that we cannot make afghanistan more security than it is now, but the idea of a self-sufficient
democratic nation that has no terrorists within it's borders and who's government is security from tribal competition on the threats is highly unlikely. the most recent report on progress towards stability in fortune quote indicates that improvements in afghan governance and development had been inconclusive. all of the developments today to a counterinsurgency strategy led by general petraeus have yielded some gains in select areas. the prominent caveat within the defense department report and sprinkled across all of the statements by the obama administration as these gains are quote, fragile and reversible, end of quote. fourth, although alliance help in afghanistan is significant and appropriated, the heaviest burden will continue to fall on
the united states. we have contributed $26.2 billion to the afghanistan national security forces from 2002 to 2011. while the rest of the world donating through the afghanistan national security correspondence has provided $2.6 billion. some reason the united states has helped $2.8 billion, while the partners have provided $4.2 billion. we are carrying the share of economic and military burden in afghanistan. this is unlikely to change. alliance military activities with connection in the civil war further reduce the prospects in afghanistan.
one accepting these as difficult to conclude that the vast expenditures represent the military and reasonable aspects. they are threatened in numerous locations. not just by terrorism, but by debt, economic competition, energy and food prices, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and numerous other forces. some may argue that almost any expenditure or military sacrifice in afghanistan is justified. by the symbolism of that country's connection to the september 11 attacks. but nearly a decade later, al qaeda largely displaced from the country, but franchise and other locations, afghanistan does not carry it's strategic value that justifying 100,000 american troops and $100 billion per
year, especially given cost restraints in the united states. president obama must be force coming on the definition of success in afghanistan. based on the united states vital interest and a sober analysis of what is possible to achieve clearly would not be in our national security interest to have the taliban take over the government. or have afghanistan reestablish as a terrorist safe haven. the president has not offered a vision of what success in afghanistan could entail, or how progress towards success could be measured. the outcome in afghanistan when u.s. forces leave will be imperfect. but the president has not defined which imperfections will be tolerable. there has been much discussion of our counterinsurgency strategy and methods, but very little explanation of what metrics must be achieved before the country is considered
secured. i noted in our last hearing on afghanistan in july 2010 that we must avoid defining success there according to relative progress. such definitions facilitate mission. arguably, we could make progress for decades on security, employment, good governments, womens rights, other goals, expending billions of dollars each year without ever reaching a satisfying conclusion. a definition of success must be accompanied by a plan for focusing resources on specific goals. we need to eliminate activities that are not intensic to the corps, and need to know which missions are indispensable to success. i am hoping the hearings will bring greater focus to the strategy in afghanistan and the
context of the vital interest. i look forward to the discussion. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator lugar. >> we're going to go in the order of haass, slaughter, ambassador neumann. as customary, we're happy to put your entire testimony in the record. if read in full, we'd appreciate to have a chance to have a good dialogue. i failed to mention i will be going to afghanistan not this week, be the other after. and hope to be able to get a
good take on president karzai and others on how that will affect their calculations as we go forward. mr. haass, welcome. dr. haass, i should say. honorable. >> thank you, senator. thank you. thanks for having me back here to discuss afghanistan and as has been the case whenever i testify here over the years, my statement and testimony reflect my personal views and not those of the council on foreign relations. as you all know, much of the debate about afghanistan has focused on whether u.s. policy is likely to succeed with success losely defined as bringing about an afghan government that in several years time can hold off of the taliban with only a modest amount of ongoing american help. in theory least, several more years of intense u.s. military effort will provide the time and
space required to train the afghan army and police and weaken the taliban so that the taliban will no longer constitute an overwhelming threat or decide to negotiate to end the conflict. let me say as directly as i can, i am deeply and profoundly skeptical the policy will work, given the nature of afghanistan and in particular, the weakness of the central institutions and the reality that pakistan will continue to provide a sanctuary for the taliban. yes, u.s. forces are succeed at clearing and holding. but successful building by the end of 2014 is at best taliban. some will give up. most will not. afghanistan and military police forces will increase a number and improve in performance, but not as much as is needed. the bigger question that i'd like to talk about though is whether it is worth -- what we are doing is worth it even if we
were to succeed. i would argue not. afghanistan over the years has evolved from a war of necessity into a war of choice. our interests there have become less than vital with the near elimination of al qaeda in afghanistan. afghanistan no longer represents the significant global terrorists threat, and certainly no more than several other countries, most notably pakistan in the region. secondly, there were and are other policy options available to us, in particular, more narrow and limited terrorist strategy, coupled with a limited agree of nation or capacity building. the situation in afghanistan did not and does not warrant our becoming a protagonist in the civil war, the adoption of a counterinsurgency strategy, or the tripling of u.s. force levels to 100,000. afghanistan is not a major terrorists haven, as i said, and it should not be assumed it will
become one, even if the taliban make end roads. it was and is an error to equate taliban return with al qaeda's return. if there is some renewed terrorist presence in afghanistan, we can and should respond to much as we do in yemen and somalia. the afghan pakistan is at the heart of the policy. there's no way i would argue the united states will be able to persuade pakistan to become a full partner and stop providing the sanctuary, given islamabad's obsession with india and it's view of afghanistan as a critical source of strategic depth in it's having -- in it's struggle with india. even the solution to the kashmir solution would not change. there's no solution for kashmir in the time frame that would
prove relevant. it's taking more resources of every sort than it warrants. $120 billion annual price tag, one out of every six or seven dollars the country now spends on defense is unjustifiable given the budget crisis that we face and the need for air and naval modernization. the history of the 21st century is far more likely to be determined in the land areas of borders of asia and pacific than it is on the planes and mountains of afghanistan. we need to be better prepared for a number of future counterterrorist interventions elsewhere in the greater middle east and africa. we could also make sure we have adequate resources on the korean peninsula and iran. it's a strategic distraction. sure and simple. all of this is not an argument. but it is an argument for doing
considerably less than we are doing by transitioning rapidly over the next year or year and a half to a relatively small, sustainable, strategically warranted deployment, one i would estimate to been the scale of 10,000 to 25,000 troops. the future troops should allow for continued terrorists, along the lines just carried out by u.s. special forces in afghanistan, and some training of afghan forces in both the national and local level. reductions of the scale and the phasing out have a number of advantages, beginning with the fact that would save up to $75 billion a year, and hundreds of american lives and casualties. continuing what we are doing on the scale that we are doing will not necessarily achieve more than what is being suggested by what i am advocating, given afghanistan's history, leadership, demography, culture,
geography, and neighborhood. even if substantial progress could be achieved, there's nothing to suggest the gains would be endure, strategy is about balancing means and ends, and the time has become to restore strategic perspective to what the united states does in afghanistan. let me if i can turn to a few minutes briefly to discussing pakistan. pakistan is more important than afghanistan, given it's population, it's arsenal of nuclear weapons, the presence of large numbers of terrorists on it's territory, and the reality that what happens in pakistan will directly affect india. there is the view in the administration and beyond that the united states has to do a lot to stabilize afghanistan. less it become a staging ground for groups that would undermine pakistan. but it is pakistan that is providing the sanctuary and support to the afghan taliban
who are the greatest threat to afghanistan's stability. so why the united states should be more concerned than pakistanis that afghanistan could one day endanger pakistan is not clear. it also exaggerating afghanistan's actual and potential influence over developments in pakistan. to be sure, pakistan is a weak state. but this weakness results far more from internal divisions and poor governance than anything else. if pakistan ever fails, it less be because of insurgents coming across the border than from decay within. it is hard to imagine a more complicated bilateral relationship than one between washington and islamabad. it's about to become more complicated yet. pakistan is at most a limited partner. it is not an ally, and at times it is not even a partner. the united states should be generous in providing aide to pakistan only -- only so long as
the aid is made conditional. we must accept no matter what the level of aid, there will always be differents to how the americans and afghanis see the world. let me suggest a guide to the u.s. policy. we should cooperate where and when we can, and act independently where and when we must. in the recent successful operation that killed osama bin laden is a case in point. let me turn to the last set of questions. diplomacy. the growing interest and three particular ideas gaining currency. one is negotiations involving the government of afghanistan and taliban. second, negotiations involving india and pakistan, and directing the regional form. in the interest of time for now, let me just say i am quite skeptical about the possibility
for diplomacy resolving the internal questions in afghanistan. i am even more kept call of the potential of diplomacy to resolve the differences between india and pakistan. but i do think there is reason to proceed with some sort of a regional form along the lines of the old six plus two forum that actually did contribute somewhat. in this context, i would also endorse talks in the united states and those willing to engage. direct communication between the united states and taliban would be preferable to allowing even pakistan or the afghans government to act as our go between. i therefore support the decision of the secretary of state to develop the decisions in talking to the taliban. but the taliban need to understand that we will attack them if they associate with
terrorists. and they will favor participation if they end with violence. whatever it is they do or don't do in pakistan or afghanistan, there is unlikely to be a rosy future for afghanistan any time soon. the most likely future of the next two years is some form of a messy stalemate. the afghanistan characterized by a mix of the government, strong local officials, and a taliban presence supported out of pakistan that will be extensive in must of the pashtun south and east of afghanistan. resolution by either military or diplomatic means is unlikely and continue constitute as a basis. walking away from afghanistan is not the answer. the country should scale back what we are doing and what we
seek to accomplish. and aim for an afghanistan that is simply good enough in light of local realities, limited interest, and the broad range of domestic and global challenges now facing the united states. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, dr. haass. very comprehensive and i think appropriately provocative and thoughtful as always. we look forward to following up. dr. slaughter. by the way, welcome back. i don't know if you know it, dr. slaughter was an intern here in 1979. by persistence, but we welcome you back. you've come a long way. [inaudible remarks] >> thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify. i want to start with three different and dramatic images that frame the story of
afghanistan today. first think about our troops posted on remote and often barren outposts in the valleys and mountains working under fiercely difficult conditions to defeat and drive out the taliban. in the after math of osama bin laden's death yesterday, a former paratrooper wrote of his deployment, our job was to build a sustainable nation in a mad wasteland. we did our duty. the second image is of the extraordinary operation carried out by the highly skilled and trained team of navy seals against osama bin laden's compound. they succeeded in a accomplishing a key part of the mission that our troops are in afghanistan to do, to destroy, integrate al qaeda. but that success did not follow from state building operations in afghanistan. indeed, it didn't even take
place in afghanistan. but in pakistan. the third image is of young arabs in tunisia, e -- egypt, libya, and taking bullets to speak freely, and participate in deciding how they will be governed and hold their government accountable for the provisions of basic services and the possibility of a better life. the determination of those protesters in their millions to demand far more, even in desperately poor and hidden countries is exactly the attitude of responsibility and self-reliance that we hope to see among the people of afghanistan, but too often do not. indeed, many reports from the field describe a culture of dependence, corruption, and inflated expectations.
as we rephrase, it's worth bearing those three images in mind, the things that connect them and the disjunctures between them. we seek a secure, stable, and self-reliant afghanistan that does not provide sanctuary for al qaeda, and that is a crossroads for increasingly prosperous and secure region. i disagree that afghanistan is a strategic distraction. it's a strategic distraction only under the next attack. moreover, we can't think about afghanistan separate from india and pakistan and the broader region which is an extremely important region going forward. a secure afghanistan means a country with low levels of violence that is defended and policed by it's own local, regional, and national forces. that means not only an end to open conflict between government and insurgents, but also the basic kind of everyday safety
that allows citizens to go to work and send their children to school. establishing that kind of security in afghanistan requires not only building up afghan police and military forces, but also and crucially, creating the kinds of incentives for them to risk their lives for the sake of protecting their own people. it also means removing u.s. troops as focal points and targets for taliban attacks. attacks that end up alienating the very villagers that our soldiers seek to protect and win over. it assumes that if we protect and serve the population of a village, they have incentives to give the information that we need to protect ourselves and drive out the enemy. in some cases for some periods of time, it's proved true. but it's a strategy that assumes the troops providing protection are there to stay for as long as it takes to erase the possibility of retaliation by
the enemy that's been informed against. as long as villagers know we are going to leave some day as they will, and as long as they lack faith in our own government to protect themselves, the instincts will tell them to keep quiet. their incentives are to go with the winner, not to make us the winner. moreover, the only real long term security flows from competent and honest government. whether in a village in afghanistan or city neighborhoods in the united states. real security in afghanistan can come only if the central government has the incentive to choose and keep capable and honest local, regional officials or a new constitution that allows for the election of those officials and mechanisms for cities to hold them directly accountable. so the key question going forward is how to align the afghan governments incentives with serving the interest of its people at every level. many different strategies has been tried, but if we are
embarking on a public transition from this period forward, we can make clear from now on, we will be investing in winners. our development dollars, civilian assistance, and military advicing and support will flow to those villages, towns, cities, and providences that desperate the ability. when the competent is faced, we will shift resources elsewhere. the message at every turn must be that we have a strong interest in seeing afghans succeed in securing and rebuilding their country, but not so strong it means we will do it in their stead. security is a necessary, but not sufficient condition. we also need stability. stability meaning previctimmability. real stability as chairman kerry started cannot be won by military force. it requires a settlement accepted by all sides to create a long term political
equilibrium. the sooner we begin, the better. david milliband in a speech argued that political settlement is not part of the counter insurgency. it's the overarching framework in which it fits and operates. he recommends that western countries in afghanistan set out a unified and strong vision addressing the security situation, possible amendments to or interpretations of the afghan constitution, basic human rights, and best model of governance for afghanistan. such a vision would provide a diplomatic benchmark against which all negotiating parties can begin to adjust their positions. i can see value in such a course, but my purpose today is not to outline a specific diplomatic strategy. however we get negotiations on a political settlement under way, however, there's a great
advantage to actually beginning the political end game, rather than continually complimenting it. and that it will force multiple players to reveal their true preferences about what they will and will not accept. only with a sense of real red lines on all sides can a lasting deal be constructed. the death of osama bin laden creating a new opportunity to begin those associations. the united states is already made clear that his death is not the end of the war in afghanistan. but we should now mark this moment as the beginning of the end. as a moment that allows us to pivot toward a comprehensive political settlement that will bring security and stability to afghanistan and greater security to pakistan while still allowing the u.s. to take whatever measures are necessary to protect ourselves against al qaeda. that settlement has to be durable and consistent enough with the basic rights and interest of all afghan citizens, sufficient to allow all countries, regional and
international institutions, corporations, citizens to invest in afghanistan's economic and social capitol. the architects must pay equal protection -- equal attention to provisions that will provide a foundation for afghanistan's economic future for trade and investment, rather than foreign assistance. let me turn to that economic vision. the last thing that we seek is a self-reliant afghanistan. u.n. officials, ngo officials, people with long experience in afghanistan often point out that it is impossible to build a capacity of a foreign government when the inflated salaries offer by our government, other governments, ngos, international institutions, drain local talent from local institutions. when afghan engineers make more as advisors to translators, it is small wonder that local and national government bureaucracies fall short.
moreover, large sums of aid without accountability and being distributed too fast contribute to growing eruption. moving forward in afghanistan, we must be aware of the own inflationary footprint and the expectations of the afghan people. it is worth exploring how governments and other organizations would confirm to local conditions and pay scales as many of the soldiers often do. at the same time, we need to focus on experts markets on farmers and entrepreneurs, and socially as well as economically profitable ways to exploit the minimal sector. the recent agreement by pakistan and india's commerce secretaries to improve trade ties across a wide range of sectors and newfound confidence in businessman that they can compete are signs after willingness to make aspirations of regional markets a reality.
afghanistan's rich mineral resources are already attracting large scale investment. with china the winning bidder for a $3 billion to exploit the largest copper mine. the agreement commits china to build a power plant that could provide electric to most of kabul and build afghanistan's first railroad which will run to the chinese providence. afghanistan also has a new outlet to the see. thanks to 135 road conducted by india, connecting the iranian port. afghanistan is increasingly pose to resume his historic and very lucrative position as trader cross roads of central and south asia. again, where as afghanistan itself may seem strategically less significant, afghanistan, pakistan, india, and the rest of central asia are absolutely essential for the u.s. and i would argue for the world going
forward. the question for the united states is how a regional diplomatic agreement that would help address pakistan's chronic security concerns as the same time as it would engage key regional players in underwriting long term peace and stability in afghanistan can help build the faux foundations of regional economic and integration. before i conclude, it's worth pausing for a moment to think about what this debate is not about. it's not about finger pointing for past mistakes. it's not about the performance of our troops which has often, superb. it's not about where the fight has been worth it. we have an overwhelming reason to ensure that afghanistan cannot again offer sanctuary to al qaeda and the fighting has brought us to the point where al qaeda is degraded. it's not about whether c.o.i.n. is right or wrong as a theory of how to fight, or if afghanistan
can be governed. it's about getting where we are now and where we want to be. secure, self-reliant afghanistan. it means seizing the opportunity afforded by the death of osama bin laden to orchestration negotiations within afghanistan and broader regional economic and security agreement. in the meantime as the end game beginning, we must move as rapidly as possible to supporting only the afghan sources and officials who take responsibility for their own security and development. that was after all the central premise of how we distributed funds under the marshal perhaps. in the end, it's a matter of aligning incentives. our military must work side by side with the development and diplomatic that focusing on building incentives for all of the relevant players, afghans, urban populations, afghan
troops, pakistani government, the afghan and possible the pakistani taliban, india, china, russia, turkey, and others to act in ways that would advance the interest in ultimate goals. it's the job for the diplomat more than the military and development experts. it may seem like an impossible job. the sooner we begin it, the higher the chances of success. thank you. >> thank you very much, dr. slaughter. ambassador neumann. >> thank you very much for inviting me to appear here. about a month after my last trip to afghanistan. i found that security has improved in some areas, as everyone is noting, heavy fighting is ahead of us. it took a long time to get in place the military and civilian forces decided on in 2009. longer than many had hoped, although many of those hopes were not very realistic. i think that lag between
decision and action is now distorting the discussion of where we are. i believe that the thing to watch is what happens next year. if u.s. forces can transfer some of the difficult areas to afghans and the afghans can hold them, then transition will begin to have credibility. if not, the strategy will lose all credibility. i believe the forthcoming operations are much more important than the speculative kind of conclusions that people are dashing to at the moment. the killing of osama bin laden is significant but the war is not over. we've all agreed on that and i won't talk about that. you asked in your letter how policy choices have affected the current dynamic. i would say that security is improving and politics are a mess. afghanistan does suffer from a weak government with much
corruption. these problems are large, they are not unique to the area. however, our actions have made many of these problems worse. stride in public criticism was taken by many afghanistans as evidence that the u.s. was turning against karzai, since through ignorance, the u.s. has employed many corrupt warlords has contractors it has created the suspicious question why should i fire your crooks if you won't fire yours? our goal of destroying al qaeda remaining important. but it is not clear to afghans what it means for our longer term policy toward afghanistan. when i was there, i heard the same point from karzai, from his opponents, afghans not even in politics saying what does the u.s. want? what does it intend? the result of this has both immediate and longer term
consequences. for president karzai, i believe he has developed a strong suspicious that we are either against him, or we will leave before afghanistan has the strength to survive. he has intensified a survival strategy seeking to build a network of military and political supporters that will sustain him if we build out. he will tolerate poor performance. clearly many of the problems of poor governance in afghanistan are afghans problems. however, i am emphasizing our own responsibility. because that is the piece of the issue in which we can work on and fix. i think we have not paid enough attention to it. four, afghans generally result in the pursuit of hedging strategies. i am on here. because my time is not -- you are going to tell me i'm out of time and my clock is not ticking. afghans are pursuing hedging strategies because of this confusion.
many fear the return of the taliban either because of the withdraw or through a political deal. some nonpashtuns would fight. some are thinking about how to position themselves if the taliban returns and are even considering a civil war. i heard more talk about thinking about a civil war than i'd ever heard before. this hedging as much as corruption is getting in the way of resisting the insurgency. you asked what we need to achieve. we need to clarify our long-term intentions to prevent the return of terrorism, we need to build afghan security forces capable of carrying on the level of fighting required as we pull out. the substantial that i am referring to is not impossible. but it does entire dynamic leaders, as well as support capacities that are only now being developed because we didn't choose to begin that until recently. this is a process of several years. difficult areas must be turned
over to afghan lead and i think that process need to start. needs to start while u.s. forces are thinned out, the afghans need to be given some opportunity to lead even to fail before we simply are out the door. there is a big difference between some of us, obviously, although some of the difference between, for instance, myself and my very respected colleague dr. haass is about the speed at which one tries to turnover. i think the question is an incredibly serious one. i think that we are behind what many people hoped would be the time schedule, but that we are right on the cusp of beginning to turnovers areas in the south within the next six to 12 months. if we cannot do that, then i think strategy is a failure. but rushing away just as we are getting to that point would also, i think, be a great mistake. the afghan central government
must control it's more recapacious local leaders. this is very difficult to do after warfare. i think we are spending too much and some of our economic programs fueling a culture of dependency and corruption that does not them good since we cannot sustain it. having said that, i understand that afghans, not we, have to work out acceptable political constitutions. you asked about broader policy considerations. two that i support are regional solution, and negotiation. but on the understanding that neither provides a fast way out. there exists a long and instructive history of negotiations to end such conflicts and every one of them took years while fighting continued to expect less in afghanistan is unrealistic. nor is it clear the taliban leadership seeks compromise. i believe that president karzai
needs to know that he has solid u.s. backing to achieve a good agreement, not a fast one. i do not believe that separate parallel u.s. negotiations will do more than create confusion and counterbidding between different parties. i believe our role in negotiations can reassure other afghans their essential freedoms will be protected. something is destabilizing now. afghanistan had a long period of peace when it's neighbors essentially left it alone. we need to focus on recreating this. understanding that such a situation requires that the neighbors realize that they cannot achieve their maximum desires. it is not clear to me that pakistan recognizing that. a regional solution that many speak about requires an afghan government capable of preserving internal order. if many afghan parties contend for power, they will draw in foreign support, leading to the
rapid destruction of any neutrality agreement. let me just very briefly as i close note three point that is i've expanded on in my written testimony. i think that the effort in afghanistan is essential to our goals in pakistan. i do not think they can be treated as alternatives because of the way that pakistan looks upon afghanistan. if we are leaving pakistan security issues strategic analysis of pakistan -- of afghanistan is extraordinarily different from whether we have commitment. so that i think it is increasingly important to approach pakistan with the linkage in mind. i think there is a grave dependence and danger of obsessive dependence on local security forces. i have lived with a number of those situations. there are some things that can work. most of them are abysmal failures.
i don't think that alternative strategy, it depends on the resources if our approach to afghanistan is counterterrorism what we say to the afghan is all we bring you is endless years of slaughter. there's nothing in that approach which will produce afghan support for us in their policy. if we are not there at least in part to build the country, there's nothing that attracting afghans. i understand the gravity of our deficit. however, i understand also as i believe you do that the united states does not have the luxury of pursuing only one interest at a time. i believe that in the effort to turn over to afghan forces, we can bring down our financial burden to an acceptable level. i also believe that the alternative is to grab at some patch work strategy that will
cost us far more in the long run and i'm pleased to answer your questions. thank you very much for including me. >> well, thank you very much. all of you, you've really helped frame this debate appropriately, and it's an important one and there are just a huge number of questions that leap out of this. as i listen to you, i mean each of you make assertions that on their face if you just take the free standing sentence sounds reasonable. they need to work out this relationship with that, or they need to be able to have some stability or prosperity or this or that. in the end, getting to each one is con as a rule luted or expensive. let my try to figure this out. ambassador neumann, you can't counterterrorism is not an alternative to a broader
strategy. and you say that we can afford to do this over a long period of time. let me try to measure that against dr. haass' sort of proposal here and see if i can get the two of you maybe engaged in this. why is -- what is our basic goal? what's the strategic interest to the united states? what are we trying to protect here? what is in our national security interest with respect to afghanistan per se? ambassador neumann? >> thank you, sir. i have very modest goals myself. having struggled with this problem. i think we need an afghan army that can carry on the level of fighting that is likely to go on for a long time in afghanistan. something we agree, we're not going to get peace quickly. i believe we need a government
that has a modest amount of support so that it can hold us together. >> how much american support do you envision being there having to sustain the afghan army? >> i see us with a declining slope. i don't want to put myselfs in the shoes of general petraeus or military commander, i think that would be obsessive. i think over the next year, what one would hope to see in the south would be the transfer out whether to other places or out of the president's decision of most of the combat brigades while those which are partners with the afghan army probably have to state, it's basically the model that we had in iraq. >> what sort of -- can you give me a ballpark figure. i'm not asking general petraeus, who won't be general petraeus in a little while over at the cia. talk about that, we are 150,000
>> i think my answer begins by disputing the premise on whi a i think what you see is considerable linkage to al qaeda, that you're seeing more foreign fighters there you see more foreign fighters in the east that the linkages are much more fundamentalist as others coming in to the battlefield. if -- >> let me stop you there so it can get a response from the authors. basically all i am saying to you is i think first of all that separation is not correct. second, if you have a civil war going on in afghanistan, you will see the linkage intensified because talks katella dinallo -- tel dan will lead the
reinforcement. you think the united states needs to be there to engage in a preventative civil war ie or engage in the civil war status? is that were that takes us? >> [inaudible] >> i disagree profoundly with what i just heard so let me make clear what i believe our u.s. policy needs to be and why. the goal should be to make sure that afghanistan is not a major platform of terrorist attacks against the united states and the world. that is a role. our goal is not to let the afghan government or have a certain level of u.s. troops. it is the potential means of realizing that goal. i do not think we should do it with what i would call counterterrorism only but i do think that should be a more central part of our policy. it should be a degree of local capacity building. there should be a degree of local diplomacy.
>> how is that distinguish from building police >> the question is one of balance and one of scale and emphasis. i think that we should have a counterterrorism policy that is the dominant one. we should try to build up local capacity but we should be realistic about what it is we are trying to build up. we are never going to accomplish some of the goals i have heard here and we should save money. if we can save $75 billion in year, which i believe is the scale of savings we would get from the kind of policy and talking about, that is one-fourth of the fiscal savings everybody suggests we need on a slow but $300 billion a year. we would get 25% of what we need through this policy alone. it is an extraordinary bit of progress and i believe we can get it without affecting the prospects for what our goal is in afghanistan, which is to make
sure that it's not a major platform for terrorist attacks against the united states. >> let me stop you there because i want to get dhaka in now as well. there is a clear difference and we need to explore it very carefully. dr. haas thinks it does say that again, preventing -- afghanistan being a platform for terrorism. you have said that our goal is a stable and prosperous afghanistan. now a stable and prosperous afghanistan is somewhat nebulous, but does it really take that to protect the interest of the united states? >> i actually agree with richard the the ultimate goal, the reason we are there is absolutely to present a afghanistan from being a platform from tourists who can attack the united states. our difference is how you can accomplish that goal.
i don't you can accomplish it without a political settlement that longer-term produces a measure of security, a measure of stability and self-reliance. the problem with the strategy richard articulated is that is the strategy we've tried. we did that for three to four years koppel, after we in the day to the to afghanistan, and the result was the taliban came surging back. we didn't want to be in afghanistan fighting the kind counterinsurgency strategy we are now what we proceed that that strategy had failed. the issue now is precisely how we can prevent the taliban from taking over in such a way we are not going to people to negotiate with the taliban and have them not fight al qaeda unless we have a political settlement. >> we need to dig into this a little bit more and we will fly colleagues. my time is expired on this round. so senator lugar, and we will see where we wind up.
>> the committee will be in recess until we can restore order. folks, this committee has a good tradition of exploring these issues in a very open and faeroe and unbiased way, and i respect, i think it through the nose this, everybody's right to the point of view and to make that known and you can choose your form, but it would really be helpful if we could ask people to respect this process and to allow these proceedings to continue without manifestation, interruption from a demonstration or otherwise. i think every member, and i think people trying to explore these issues would respect and appreciate that. senator lugar? >> dr. haass, following through
on senator kerry's questions, if i remember correctly, you recommended troop presence, u.s. troop presence kirker gradually diminished and 12 to 18 months, and you indicated this group which supports an anti-terrorism and afghanistan. to wash out in my imagination currently our strategy apparently and our operations are very comprehensive and afghanistan is now a huge country but is a large one, very diverse situation. where would we place the ten or 25,000 or how would you concede the operations day-by-day?
>> i would say three things. one is what i would do a lot less of just to be clear. it is combat operations against the taliban. i would dramatically reduce and phase out the plan mentioned. second in terms of anti-terrorism mission, that seems to me a tactical decision quite honestly, senator. you probably want to have some sort of to pool forces and then a distributor where you thought you are most likely to face. when the intelligence suggested you were going to meet terrorists which again are quite a few in the numbers. the training mission and is a question of where it could be logistically best carried out with afghans either at bases or in the field some of the best training as you know doesn't take place on the bases but takes place actually outside on the field box, of koza this
implementation decision and the big question is one of division of labor phasing out, operations limiting us to buy the we not just national forces. i will also believe the united states should be training selective forces. we shouldn't put all their eggs if you will in kabul to run the police and the army. >> it's conceivable that if we had people skilled in anti-terrorism on the ground so the original thought of why we are in afghanistan may be because the attack came from afghanistan we would be helpful with good intelligence to bury all those who might be contemplating other attacks on us, i suppose. now second, it would be helpful obviously if the government and the military of afghanistan were fairly stable, but this is a
limited training situation at that point of the few people, rather than a comprehensive 100, 200, 300,000 people which is mentioned presently. and when that is mentioned, of course, in our questions to the witnesses, they're rarely is the mention of who pays for all this and for how many years. those talking indefinitely in the future contemplates a huge budget which isn't part of the picture all because there is in the local income situation but let me take to the taliban. if in fact taliban continue to be around come and as dr. slaughter said in a free or for your period of time going back and there were problems, this is certainly not satisfying to us who would like to see people in a space society without all of this the same
time the history of the country has been one with others in which it hasn't been very peaceful and space. is it conceivable that the taliban are always going to be around? and as a result, our strategy is based upon a eradicating the country of the taliban that is far fetched in terms of imagination. if not the taliban, some other group that says we will provide order, justice, so forth, as opposed to what is the wing on presently. and in the absence of the central government to get out and administer the situation isn't it likely there's going to be a great deal of local government around afghanistan for a long time? saw one of the interesting things about your strategy is given the fact that there's going to be very unsatisfying the governor situation we at least have boots on the ground to ferret out potential terrorists who might attack us
or others in the world as a rationale for being there at all? absent that, it isn't clear altogether while we, are there all. in other words, we are not in of the other countries that have terrorists, al qaeda, al-shabaab , all the rest. somehow they get a free pass. we visit afghanistan in the total defense budget. initially your ideas are appealing panamax am i understanding of this clearly running counter to where we have been heading in and in the budget debate that we are having presently. and even in your strategy of 28 knorr 12 for 18 months of getting their this is still going to be an expensive process, something moving people are getting some of the organization going. i would just add finally that
our confidence in president karzai has its close unless we are really prepared to present an alternative you would be the president of the country, they will be a lot, they're physically has always been how we eradicate that is hardly clear at all and i think we really need to sharpen our objectives. this isn't an incentive system it is an exercise in the reality of afghanistan. the history of the place and what is possible in terms of our own security. what do you say to all that, dr. slaughter? >> thank you, senator lugar. i would say the first thing is that richard and on and i think maybe ambassador neumann, at least richard and i agree that fighting the taliban is not why we, are there. the reason we are there is exactly to prevent terrorist attacks on the united states. the question is with the successful means for that.
when we try the counterterrorism strategy we couldn't get the intelligence that we needed to be able to actually actively effectively attack al qaeda. we got osama bin laden because we got intelligence. we couldn't get the intelligence because taliban were terrifying the villagers said they can't give us that intelligence so we move from the kind of strategy that richard advocates to the full counterinsurgency strategy where we will get the intelligence by clearing, holding and building and getting the confidence of the villagers. i do not think that can work over the long term. so the difference is i am advocating a political settlement that actually gets enough stability. this is not going to be some rosy vision of afghanistan, but enough civility so that in fact afghan forces have the incentive to fight the taliban themselves and we have, and this is credible, the ability to stay in
the country and get the intelligence we need. so it is a strategy of how you remain in the country sufficient to get the intelligence you need to do what we both agree which is long term to ensure that al qaeda cannot come back and use afghanistan as a platform. >> in terms of its intelligence there is no evidence of intelligence that osama bin laden has any relationship to whether the taliban are fighting anybody and so forth and some intelligence methods. my point is that if you have some people on the ground, maybe we already knew that there was an encampment of al qaeda that was about to attack us. but most of the writing about the period of time indicates we were not particularly diligent or on that track. books written about the subject indicate many administrations still believe that iraq was the problem and we hardly spend any time at all thinking about
afghanistan at that time. i suppose my hope is that if we are talking about any troops being there the would be of a limited number and able to say there is a big camp going out there, don't need a great deal of intelligence to find it. it's got people in there that are bad actors and maybe we do something about that can't as opposed to every village in afghanistan. >> i was involved in the policy as you know after 9/11 and the united states could get some more training and so forth. i'm not advocating a counterterrorism only strategy. there is a place for the limited degree of training but there's a fundamental difference if we expect to build up in afghanistan be it for training efforts, aid efforts, diplomatic efforts the of what is going to be robust and the major partner. it's not going to happen. and all intellectual honesty of the we have to assume if we
adopt something like i am suggesting but even if we don't we're going to face a future in afghanistan with a conservative pashtuns in the south and the east are going to dominate and whether you technically called intimate and more conservative pasterns, that's what it's going to be like. and to me, the challenge for the american foreign policy is not to prevent that from happening. that is impossible to prevent. i would suggest given the nature of afghanistan. we ought to try to break the historical link between the television and groups like al qaeda. and i believe that that is a link that can be broken. indeed, there's enough statements on the record from people in the telegram suggesting one should not equate the two. our military leadership has made such comments and that's the reason that i fever have been diplomacy. i do not think our long-term goal here as much as perhaps we would like it would be to create the sort of attractive afghanistan by all sorts of human rights and economics and
other measures we but like to see. i simply think that is beyond our capacity. what we have to do is accept the fact that there's going to be the conservative pashtu in order monroe of the country and preventing that cannot be the basis of the american foreign policy in the country. even modest goals and afghanistan are ambitious, but ambitious goals in afghanistan i think are out of the question. >> that's the strong man, no one is arguing for some kind of perfect afghanistan that respects human rights. we are seeing the same thing. use a diplomacy for the political settlement that would indeed negotiate with the taliban to pull them away from al qaeda to create a government that could actually governed with the taliban, with others, the pasterns, tajiks that we could decrease over footprint but still stay at least to the extent we need to to protect of interest. >> can i join as well?
to things. first, dr. haass's notion which has always he expresses brilliantly is attractive, that there are elements of a maros. the notion of going down in 18 months to the levels of forces, it's taken us the better part of two years to get in place the adequacy of trainers we have now. from this notion that he can put it on a diamond with our large forces is not true. if the numbers are grossly underpaid any kind of serious that is real effort. so this is a recipe for failure. you build a afghan forces, throw them out after two months without it pfizer's, without backup as green troops and watch them fall apart and then get to the problem of the policy as a failure. it makes no sense to me. second, there's a relationship between the negotiations and
fighting. if the image that we convey with the afghans is that we are about to bailout, the army is going to fall apart because we are not backing it, the advisers are few, there's not a lot of incentive for anybody on the other side to negotiate seriously. so if you -- there's a difference between saying you will accept a pashtuns role -- what is the incentive for them to negotiate now? are the negotiating now? no. is there any indication about him to negotiate? >> i would have to say that the top leader should level, i'm skeptical. you've heard that from all of us. but if part of what we are seeing is you want negotiations, then to say also that you will essentially move quickly away from the military i think polls against the notion you can have a successful negotiation. i'm dubious you can have it but
that's part of your policy that recognizes as the former israeli prime minister said had to fight as there were no negotiations and negotiate is there a were no fighting. if you lose that i think you lose the ability. >> i think i need to recognize the largest pot on the table the question we have gotten to yet and there's a lot more to explore here and sort of focus on the mission. what if you had a sufficient force in terms of counterterrorism that also made it clear the taliban will not take over the country? now if that is a stated capacity with much less engagement and involvement there's an incentive to negotiate and you haven't pulled the rug out from anybody. so we need to come back and think about other pieces how you might fit this. >> mr. chairman, thank you. i appreciate you arranging this hearing. this seems important hearing among many we have and i am
grateful. it is repetition to get our points across i want to focus on the nature of this hearing in the sense we talk about an end game would be to focus on the description of an end game, and i use as a predicate to my question a visit that i had to iraq in the summer of 2007 at the time was about iraq obviously and was a dinner meeting, a small group of people including general petraeus and ambassador crocker and now that they're both still engaged, maybe the question would be relevant again. but what i was complaining to both of them about as representatives of the bush administration is the way that then president bush described the in the game or the goal and sometimes his a administration. and i was complaining about it. i said win and lose as the wrong way to talk about it in large
richmond, victory and defeat, the usual language that we use i thought was inappropriate and frankly misleading. that was my complete. the ambassador crocker of the time said that his -- the language he tended to use if not all the time most of the time as it relates to iraq was sustainable stability, to words. i think the american people need to hear from a lot more of us a basic description of what our goal is in afghanistan, not in a page or volume, but literally in a sentence or two so we can focus on the goal. if we were sitting in the same meeting today in kabul or anywhere, you were sitting there and i asked you the same question, what's the best way to describe it, and what is the best outcome than you could articulate in a sentence or even
the phrase, just ask to all free of our panelists? >> dr. haass? >> the sentence to use in my testimony was that in a stalemate, afghanistan turd caused by a weak central government, strong local officials and a television presence the extensive and much of the south and east. i would include in that a small u.s. presence, and that, to me, it doesn't sound that difference by the way we have now been a fall delete a small u.s. footprint and my view is that is probably about as good as things will get and that is also good enough. >> you say that is achievable and acceptable? >> yes, sir. >> dr. slaughter? >> i said a secure, stable self-reliance, meaning much lower levels of the violence, stable meaning predictable and stable enough so you can actually invest some economic activity can regenerate and self-reliant where the afghans
are taking the lion's share of responsibility for their safety. i think in terms of getting there we are not that far apart. it does mean over time, and i agree with ambassador neumann in terms of moving from training, from actively fighting to end fighting so we want to actually give these forces a chance, but a means a small where u.s. footprint, in my view it will also require an overarching political settlement in afghanistan and the larger regional agreement at the same time to actually get us there. but the one sentence is secure, stable and self-reliance. as the mcginn bus neumann? >> i enjoy your comment because one of the problems we have right now is the united states to send a clear expression whether it is an expression any of us come up with we desperately need it not only for the american people clearly but your responsibility but we are not projecting to anyone in
afghanistan the clarity of purpose right now. and that is enormously important and debilitating. i don't have perfect words in my head but i think that chairman kerry has put his hand durand kuran one key part that the taliban can't win, that isn't the same as stability, but knowing that we will persevere to that extent, whether it is counterterrorism, other things, whether it's u.s. forest, there's a lot of issues in their but knowing the taliban cannot win is a central piece of pakistani thinking, afghan thinking about what they can or can't dig deep could count on and one of the things we need to get that. afghanistan has a chance to rebuild i'm dubious about using
stability because it's hard to achieve for all the issues we disagree on akaka it's hard to get their. we have support to stability in that sense raising their hands. they can still messed this up with everything we are capable of doing. i would say taliban cannot win although tax when they can re-enter the causing of sustainability that afghans can make their own decisions that isn't yet at the bumper sticker kind of level that one needs for the americans the afghans but those are the two key pieces. as you get into islamabad twice and plan to go back this year and obviously the world has changed so dramatically. and like a lot of members of congress and like americans a
series of questions to ask as it relates to who knew what, when and the details of that. >> if you could sit down with pakistani leader's right now in light of what has happened over the last 40 hours of so, and media i will leave this is a question for the record as a time that if you could help us formulate some of those questions the would be helpful for those of a struggling but i have to say when i was there in 08 and even more so in 2009 there was a sense of the end of the relationship and especially on intelligence sharing is getting better soil for from our people that is encouraging that at best maybe this is compounded what too optimistic that a very mixed record in light of what just happened a very poor record. so, if you could help us
formulate those questions and the better articulate them, there would be great and i will put that in the record for questioning but think you. >> think all of you for your testimony. i think as it relates to what's happening today on the ground in afghanistan i think general petraeus and others have asked they be allowed to see through this fighting seat and then i think most people in this body are willing to let them go through the fighting season in present and so i think we are not really talking about something eminent today but i ask this question, we had libya and other things on our mind to all three of you briefly. would you all agree that what we are doing in afghanistan is not a model for the future? i mean, i think it's a simple yes or no.
islamic first, yes i agree it's not a model. second, if i had to do a fifth war, and i have been and four, i would like the dynamic effective leadership on our side. >> so this is not something we can do country after country after country. everybody agrees this is not a sustainable model, is that agreed? >> [inaudible] i do agree we cannot be engaged in country after country with this degree of responsibility for both security and building the basic institutions. i do not think that is a model that works going forward. hot >> senator corker i would expect you think is yes as well at biggs the question why is the model for afghanistan? and i would simply suggest it should not be and cannot be for any longer. >> one of the things i'm not as much as an expert as you all are
on relations i've learned it's easy to enter but difficult to leave the reasons for being in a place continue to ebal. but let me just ask so, we keep talking about safe havens and i'm confused even as to what a safe haven is. we saw recently where by the pakistan neighborhoods can be a safe haven. so what is it about afghanistan, especially to dr. slaughter and mr. neumann that makes it more of a safe haven than the other places that we might consider having 100,000 troops. >> i think we have to go back to where we were before if the taliban either control and enormous part of afghanistan on the challenge or eventually to take over the government again, and effectively, you have the ability of al qaeda and other terrorist groups to move freely
back-and-forth from pakistan if the pakistanis the more serious they get the move over to afghanistan. so, you know, we have to remember where we came from. and indeed, i don't think we would have been able to actually get osama bin laden had we not driven him out of where he was in the taliban, put in afghanistan, put him on the run. we finally drew intelligence from all over the place but we can't think of that leaving the that area alone and leaving afghanistan possibly still open to a government that would be completely willing to host al qaeda and other terrorist networks isn't a threat to us that's where people are getting trained and attacks are getting mounted. we have to have a government in afghanistan that doesn't host al qaeda. >> i'm confused because i know you said i think we shouldn't fight the taliban. we aren't fighting the taliban. we basically are fighting criminality in afghanistan on
the daily basis people are locking up in presence and most cases, not extremists, we visit one presence there are 13 or 1400 presidents or mabey eda the would-be capital to the taliban. most of what we're fighting as criminality and i hear you and dr. neumann saying to the very different things. i'm confused. you say we shouldn't fight the taliban, and he says we should be fighting the taliban. it's very confusing to me with two of you are saying. >> so we fought the taliban initially because the taliban and afghanistan and they were -- the hosted al qaeda. >> the taliban today. >> that's right, taliban today have a major resurgence is once again and we are degrading and now but it was once again in the position to either rule a large
part of afghanistan or take back over the government. we pushed them back to the extent they should not ruled afghanistan and in that sense i agree with ambassador neumann they shouldn't rule afghanistan. how we are going to get there we can continue to fight them loom. i don't think that is a strategy to be successful, or we can get there by negotiating with them in such a way to allow a political settlement there part of the government and as richard said there are many different types of television. if they will no longer host al qaeda. to senator kerry's question, i think the death of osama bin laden gives us an open to try again to see how much they are willing to negotiate. there are many different impacts of the death and we should take that as an opportunity so i suggest we stop fighting them and cut a deal that allows a more stable government in afghanistan the will not openly host al qaeda.
>> probably easier said than done. i would agree with that. i just want to read a quote from segregates of the recent and, being able to turn security over to the afghan forces against a degraded taliban is our ticket out of afghanistan. it is numbers of other questions i would have liked to have asked but i think the one thing the west on the american people on the ground in afghanistan is how much we are investing in this country and what we are investing in. and i think we have to start a huge lead their expectations, much about the culture with the vast amount of money that is coming in. let me just ask the two of you if you agree the secretary gates, and should we very abruptly changed the dynamic of the civilian investment that we have ongoing in afghanistan and
really focus more on the degraded taliban come and a quick exit out of their once we feel we have accomplished that after the fighting season. >> i agree with secretary gates. i think a lot of what we are disagreeing on the panel is an issue of how fast can do that without boiling it by trying to go too fast. second i do think we are overspending on the economic side. i think we are fuelling too many bad tendencies and paying people to do things they ought to do themselves. there's a fair amount of tension between the military spending and you need to look i think at recommending both served and aid. there is rapid spending for the short term results that are not sustainable, and i don't think they are as essential.
in careful about the cuts but i think we are overspending them. i do think security -- amine put it this way. the afghan army doesn't actually have to win the war. it has to be capable of not losing it. that changes the negotiating dynamic that changes the security situation. i do think it is our way out. what i'm saying no is i think this process needs to be looked at very hard so that we do not destroy whatever chances we have created for success by suddenly moving out much too quickly. there's a long record of how we get to this. we've had a lot of experience in afghanistan and iraq recently so we should be very careful not to jump to totally politically
inspired time tables of numbers and speed of recognizing that he will never have as much time as any general or investor would like. >> thank you for your testimony i hope we do look at civilian spending and i agree that it's happening on both through the military and through our state department. and hopefully that's something since all three of you have very different views but all three of you agree on the fact we are spending too much money on the civilian side. >> we are spending it in ways that are problematic but overall we want to pull done a military spending and very carefully monitored spending on the
civilian side i think can work but we are putting too much and at one time. islamic thank you very much, senator corker. cementer menendez. >> thank you mr. chairman. i look at $10 billion a month as a cost of our counterinsurgency effort. i look at long military contributions to afghan reconstruction and development from 2002 to 2010 almost $23 billion expected to increase obviously as we see a transition to the civilian mission and i say to myself even if we are willing to meet the enormous economic commitment to build a democracy and to find the necessary security elements of the cost of tens of billions of dollars per year what's the likelihood of our success? it seems to me the government is
corrupt, our working relationship is strained to say the least, our focus on building security forces is challenged because it's largely excludes the pashtu the base of the taliban is there an amount of money or plan that can work. >> i would say no, i would say explicit, our policy won't work, and it's not worth that even if it did work. i would say given the skill of the challenges we face a crimber of our fiscal situation i cannot find a strategic rationale for what we're taking on the civilian side of afghanistan even if it were to work and again i think it is a negligible chance, senator which only increases the questions that i believe need to be raised without the direction in the scale of u.s. foreign policy.
>> i don't think we are trying to build a democracy in afghanistan as the end. once again, the goal is to insure that there's not a government in afghanistan that hosts al qaeda and other terrorist networks that they can freely planned and executed attack against the united states, that's why we went in, that's where we succeeded africa clearly on the took over on of the ball, but the taliban started coming back. of the color and were to take over tomorrow, they would once again host al qaeda. they wouldn't be able to actually be in the country to be able to get the intelligence to be able to do what we need to do. our focus still has to be a government in afghanistan that doesn't host al qaeda and is in the tv to buy the town of him. with that we can in fact get through with a secure, stable and increasingly self-reliant afghanistan rather than doing it
to try to build the country from the ground up we need to do it politically, diplomatically, keeping our forces there and a larger regional summit, every other country in that region has an absolute stake in the civil government. >> i think we can do this in a couple of years. we consider the political negotiations immediately and the peaceful transition does depend on how well the afton forces perform the increasingly there's evidence some are performing well and we complete and an advisory. we shouldn't be fighting the battle for them. >> there's a fundamental disagreement. this administration several years ago decided in the words of the president to take the war to fight the taliban and the south and east of the country to the scope of the was an incorrect decision and then and
i continue to believe it is an incorrect decision now. i do not believe we should simply assume that the taliban can takeover. i don't think they can. i think there's way too much pushback particularly in the north and west of afghanistan to really do think however they are likely no matter what we do to make inroads in the south and east but i wouldn't assume for a second that the taliban and those equate into al qaeda return. it is a testable proposition. there's lots of evidence to suggest the taliban board in do it but that's the reason that we should talk to them and if they were ever to do it that is the reason that we should attack but i'd do believe we shouldn't be as the u.s. policy on that to me truly the unproven assumption. i would say one other thing begole as articulating of a quote on quote self-reliance afghanistan is a reasonable goal it will take several years that is an open-ended commitment for
the united states military and economically and i do not believe again that that is a strategically defended given the cost and given the opportunity costs, given all else we need to worry about in the world and given all else we need to worry about here at home >> with the fall with this as the chairman will give you more time. i'm happy to have but i want to get one more question before my time expires. original the vice presidential biden was supposedly reports said he favored it more limited mission for afghanistan designed solely to interrupt al qaeda in afghanistan and pakistan in that approach obviously envisions a smaller presence and advocates of this approach a serve the government of afghanistan is not a fully legitimate partner panel because of widespread government corruption, counterterrorism strategy relying heavily on the special operations forces to
track and kill selected middle level insurgent commanders which had previously been shown to be effective and could be used to attack al qaeda and taliban sanctuaries in pakistan would be a better approach. what are your views on the approach as an alternate, and what's the argument this respect to the question if you don't believe that approach, what is the argument for the broad counter insurgency strategy than a targeted more limited counterterrorism strategy to revive always thought we should have the counterterrorism strategy and i've been supportive of the attrition so give me why one over the other -- >> nobody is -- no one said you don't want that piece in the strategy.
>> with at least the press which was completely fair to the vice president portrayed as a counterterrorism strategy is i believe that is a strategy which first of all requires a lot of on the ground presence to make it work. >> more than we have now? >> not more than we have but what i believe you get if you have a strategy reduced to that of focused on doing anything with and for afghanistan is a strategy that invariably turns afghans increasingly against us to the point that strategy fails as a sole strategy and if that purpose has nothing to do with the purpose of afghans who have to live in their country the middle of an oral and anything that gets us out becomes an improvement. so, if you really want to create the xenophobia reaction to the
farmers fighting our enemies and doing nothing for a chemist and i don't think we have to be in the total build a democracy. but it is a quick -- if you deal only in extremes and with the kind of extreme the press at least portrayed the vice president as having a very small u.s. forces i think it becomes a complete failure. i do have a serious difference for how much strategic interest we have here. my feeling is we will get if we have something that can be defined as a loss. first we have a huge propaganda victory for people who consider they are more with us and intend to continue that war. i don't know how you measure the consequences but i've never heard of one side with in the middle of war successfully.
second, i think in the context of the civil war in afghanistan, something much larger than the fighting in the south huge role in pakistan and iran and to end with and instability that royals all of central asia. i suppose we should turn our back on it. in that kind of situation, fear of india might lead to the pakistanis to a much stronger support for the radicals that they would be unlikely to be with their own radicalism and that also leads to greater instability in pakistan. i find this a really frightening prospect and won the scarcely enough that i would stick with things albeit looking for ways to spend less which i think we can do over a year or to cutting the trip members but i think we have to try to turn over to afghans at a reasonable pace. that hasn't been tried. we are only now arriving at the
point we start trying it. we ought to see how it works. >> thank you mr. chairman. there are several things in which motivate my thinking on this. first is a sense of history. afghanistan has been a graveyard of empires, nations that have come to the country in an effort to suppress and reform it in a long history of failure. second, this is the longest war in american history and there's no end in sight. when investor neumann says we would be guilty of quitting in the middle of a war can anybody say with honesty we are in the middle of this war? i'm not sure they can. third is the fact the road to kabul was paved with good intentions. when you look of a corrupt regime running this country, when you look at ten to
$12 billion monthly payment by american taxpayers much of which is being wasted and sadly portions of which are being diverted to fund our enemy you have to ask yourselves how long can we sustain this? mr. haass, i read your testimony by this kind of cheering you on until lagat to the last paragraph and i have to ask about it because here's what he said. resolution of the ongoing conflict by either military or diplomatic means is highly unlikely and that realistic basis for the policy, walking away from afghanistan it's not the answer i want to ask about that. if this is money and clearly spending and wasting it is very hard to justify but it's about a lot more. if you believe resolution of the conflict by military means is highly unlikely and not a realistic basis for the u.s. policy, how can we send more and more american soldiers to fight and die in afghanistan?
>> is a good and a fair question. i do not believe that u.s. interests to the extent of the ackley in afghanistan require a resolution of the conflict. that's good news because we aren't going to get a resolution of the conflict. but we can maintain, protect ourselves and protect record interests, the core interested in is afghanistan ought not to be a launching pad for terrorist attacks against us or the world. we can do that i believe with a degree of counterterrorism presence and activities and a degree of limited focused treating the afghan national troops. i believe we can protect our core interest with a modest investment. so i am trying and to come up with not the proverbial little course, but it's actually closer to one in the end of the other point to believe the answer is withdraw. >> so those of us that face this boat, face to votes on iraq and afghanistan, 23 of us voted against the invasion of iraq and
i continue to believe that was the right vote. i voted for the invasion of afghanistan and i've been voted for it to go after al qaeda for what they did to us on the 9/11 and to find it necessary to kill osama bin laden. now here we are, almost ten years later. and i have to tell you, if he would have asked me whether i was signing up for the longest war in american history, which has no end in sight even after the killing of osama bin laden, i would have to seriously say that wasn't the bargain. that isn't what i thought i was voting for. now the question that i have is this. if our goal and afghanistan as dr. slaughter said and i think you just said is to prevent terrorist attacks on the united states, why are we limiting this to afghanistan? aren't there other countries in the middle east but also harboring terrorists, which until on the united states? are in their countries in africa? so, why have we drawn the line
here and say we will stay as long as necessary to reach a good enough solution in afghanistan? >> it is actually the same approach that i will suggest to the other countries. what i'm trying to do, it must be a drafting problem and i wasn't clear. i am trying to scale down dramatically the u.s. involvement and investment in afghanistan, much more akin to what we have been doing in other countries like yemen and somalia. i want the emphasis to be on counterterrorism, a degree of training but i agree with you i don't believe coming up with something senator corker said before you are right, this is not a template that sustainable i don't believe it is a template of to be sustained in afghanistan. the war you signed for and i think you the right to vote for signing it in afghanistan after 9/11 was a limited war. this has now more often to something more. we have basically about ourselves to be protagonists missile war.
we need to dalia licht back again to the more limited mission which is the one that you i believe correctly signed up for and that limited mission is both affordable and in the interest of the united states. i do not believe the expanded mission that the united states has allowed was off to be drawn into as either affordable or justifiable or defends the core vital national security. >> and is calling on us to send our fighting men and women to fight and die? >> absolutely. i agree. >> so we are now in a very sterile conversation about diplomacy and foreign policy. the reality is the question is how long will we keep sending them? >> senator, i think the answer is that there is a -- the united states has a vital national interest to make sure that afghanistan doesn't become again and doesn't continue, similar to
other countries a place where terrorists can act with impunity. that's something i believe because it is a vital national interest our armed forces would gladly be involved in. again, the problem in afghanistan as we have allowed the mission to grow. we have a classic objectives and that is something that i believe is not the international interest of the united states. >> dr. slaughter? >> we are not disagreeing about the endgame. i.t. we all agree that we need to draw down the troops substantially. the president agrees. where i would differ with richard is we tried a limited counterterrorism strategy that when you voted originally we drove the taliban out very fast and moved to the limit and counterterrorism strategy. after three or four years we turned around and the taliban were deeply resurgent. we didn't choose to be part of a civil war. we realize we were at risk of losing all the gains we made. we had to go back in with a counter insurgency strategy.
>> is it not true? and they tell us we could gather all of the known al qaeda at al qaeda and afghanistan in this room yet we are spending ten or $12 billion a month in a war with the taliban which i've asked this basic question can we achieve what we want to achieve in afghanistan without defeating the allin? >> we can achieve that if we have a stable government in afghanistan that includes part of the taliban and that doesn't post al qaeda. if we can get an agreement where the taliban can meet certain basic conditions the can be part of the government and they do not host al qaeda than our interests are served. >> we are in the position we've pushback our troops and the have succeeded in pushing back enough but we are now in a strong enough position to enter the negotiations will not be the karzai government.
it will be a coalition government with a set of conditions allow us to dramatically pulled down our forces. but we have had to push back for counter insurgency because of what we lost through the pure counterterrorism strategy and we need to move to the political face. >> i couldn't agree more. >> i recognize, let me follow quickly. dr. slaughter, use of the goal would be the government has the taliban why couldn't we have a government fighting for its own definition and sort of have an ongoing still meet? it's the struggle, and while we are aligned with a that a government that's fighting it we have an arrangement where we have a platform doing
counterterrorism making sure they are not harboring any terrorists, and we also can guarantee they are not going to be able to take over. why do we have to go to the next year? >> we have a stalemate of the kind that you're describing, richard speed is describing when we have 130,000 u.s. and allied troops. right now if we were to pull them out we would have a karzai government sort of defending its interest i think you would see the major tel dan advances. >> nobody has said pull out. they sit reduce. islamic if you can hand over to the afghan forces and we maintain an advisory role that will continue all the wood isn't as strong as the government that actually has at least some taliban as part of it so that there is in fact some kind of settlement.
>> i think the model that you're suggesting is much more realistic. but we are going to be able to negotiate the afghans themselves will be a will to negotiate broadbased government with the discrete power sharing arrangement seems to be highly optimistic and it's perfectly acceptable but particularly the local list tradition of afghanistan, the central government that isn't necessarily representative. and call them what you will have considerable influence again in the south and east of the country and if they are able to abide by certain redlines we live with i do not believe it is essential we have a national contract or government is unified or self-reliant or anything else. indeed, to try to jam the taliban participation on the thai sheikhs and uzbeks and others. i would say within only failed but would probably be counterproductive. >> you are recognized, senator
shaheen. we will come back. -- before, mr. chairman. i think it is fitting as i'm sure people have said already that we are having this discussion today, two days after osama bin laden has been killed. after all, as you all point out it was his masterminding the attack on the world trade center and the united states that got us into this war so as we think about what the endgame here is is what impact would the death of osama bin laden have, in game obviously is a huge national security and military and intelligence triumph but what will the real impact be if any on the taliban we are operating in afghanistan and does it have any impact on our allies as we
look ahead. >> i believe the only way it has a significant impact would be if it leads to pakistan is to seriously reconsider their continual provision of a century to the taliban. if this leads to any conversation between the united states and washington and islamabad to a material change in pakistani policy than i think it will have major repercussions but as long as pakistan is able to play the role that it's played for all these years and provide sanctuary for the afghan taliban, not only does it mean that osama bin laden's death will not have a material impact on the future of afghanistan, but will the essentially have the sort of self literally did -- salutary effect you and i would like to see more broadly. ..
>> there are arguments that osama bin laden was very close the to the top leadership, mullah omar, of the taliban. with him gone, that may create some political space. it's at least worth exploring.to it also creates political space for us with president karzai, and in the sense that president karzai often says, well, we'ren going to say because we're there for our interests more than we are forre his. this is now a moment where we can say as we're hearing all over the place, although obviously it's a symbolic death, it's a very important symbol. and it gives us a chance to pivot. so that may give us more leverage also with president karzai. seems to me we should seize that
moment and explore. we're not going to be worse offe we may be substantially better off. >> mr. neumann do you have anything to add to that?>> >> basically, agree.g i am much more dubious that as s moment for negotiations. i have nothing against exploring them, but i think senator kerry's description of a possible kind of end state was more realistic. for one thing, there have been t great many negotiations over 30 years in afghanistan. almost all of them have fallen apart.e f most of them which are power-sharing agreements have not worked. aring agreements have not worked. i think we need to get out of the american mind set that agreement in this things. look at negotiations historic fleet, at least in afghanistan much more like the agreements of middle ages and renaissance europe. they last until one side is strong enough to break them and go with them. so while negotiations are
relevant, pinning a lot of hope on them were thinking that because you into page you have something, i am pretty dubious. i do agree on your question specifically. this is a place to push pakistan, but recognize that we have interests in common and probably have interests that oppose. one of the, perhaps, think that we need to clarify most is what the interests are that we have that we will sustain. the confusion and the doubt of pakistan, afghanistan, regional players about us is enormously debilitating in this struggle because we are such a huge player. enemies, friends, and those that are neither take position in part based on where they think we are. when they don't know, they invent the answer and go from that reasoning. >> well, we will have a hearing on thursday to talk about pakistan, so that will be an opportunity to explore that a
little further. i want to go back to the discussion that senator durbin was having earlier, and i am having trouble, i guess, trying to distinguish between that in the game that you are describing which sounds to me very much like what we have been doing in afghanistan from the time we went in and removed the taliban until we increased our forces. so i wonder if you could just describe in further detail how that is different so i can understand the distinctions that you are making. >> what i'm suggesting is different in two ways. it's different and where we are trying to get to and how we get there. my goal is not a democratic afghanistan. although i would like to see it, it is not an afghanistan that is
in total peace. it is not a unified, strong, national government. what i am looking for is simply in afghanistan that has a minimal level of functionality where above all it is not a place where al qaeda or groups like it act with impunity. and the way i believe we achieve that, of very modest goal. the way i would try to achieve that is through a heavy infinite -- emphasis, not the sole emphasis, but an emphasis on u.s. counter-terrorism capabilities with a degree of training up afghan police and army forces both nationally and locally. a degree of diplomacy, particularly 1-on-1 with the taliban to try to draw red lines with them and also to try to have some sort of a regional forum. i would dramatically decrease u.s. troop levels. right now roughly 100,000i would reduce by three-quarters or more. quite quickly.
>> can you just talk about what you are describing as different than what we are doing? >> sure. >> it does not sound that different to me. >> it sounds quite different to me, and maybe i'm not articulating well. what the big difference is, the current u.s. policy is -- >> i'm not talking about current u.s. policy. i am trying to see if i can understand the distinction you are making between what we should be doing now and what we are doing and how that is different from what we did when we initially went into afghanistan and continue to do until the buildup after president obama was elected and began to increase troop size and trainers. because i don't -- i'm not understanding the distinction you are making. >> okay. i apologize. i did not understand your question. in the original policy after al qaeda was the government was ousted was a fairly narrow
counter-terrorism policy. it did not involve significant turning up of afghan police or army forces at either the national or local level. now the afghan national army and police is probably more than 300,000. essentially we have done all that, particularly in the last couple years, plus there was not a real diplomatic dimension to be allowed the six plus two form to go into disuse. the united states did not try to test the taliban as to whether they had changed their ways when it came to association with al qaeda. so essentially those are the differences. but we did, also, the big difference, but we started doing and i would into doing is bringing to an end combat operations against the taliban. starting to a half years ago the united states made the policy decision that it would henceforth target that tall banned militarily. that was the principal rationale
for the military increases taken in 2009 as well as the subsequent surge. i believe that was ill-advised, and i want to go back to the face before that where the united states no longer targets the taliban militarily. on the assumption that television presence is one and the same as al qaeda return. i think that is incorrect, and i do not believe the united states can or should conduct policy in afghanistan based on that. i would remove that component. >> can i jump in? the desire of our policy was not to fight the taliban. at -- the desire was to push them back from the gains that they had made when wefoowing thw counterterrorism strategy. also to convince the afghans that we were there not just tough fight terrorism, but
because we had their interests at heart as well. we -- if we had negotiated with the taliban two years ago or tried to negotiate, we would be in a very different position. i think the way we understand this is that we push back enough so we are now in a position to negotiate with the television with the red line. maybe we can do that without the afghan government. to senator kerrey's point, it is still a sovereign country. difficult to be negotiating with the enemy of the government independently of the government, but i would say we try a comprehensive settlement. if we can't get that we negotiate in other ways. we had to push back on the taliban so that we would then be in a position to negotiate the kind of solution you are talking about. we are not there to fight the taliban for the sake of fighting the taliban. >> we obviously have a disagreement. i do not believe we have had to because i am not trying to get the taliban to become great citizens participating in the political life. i have one simple, that they do
not reestablished the sort of relationship they had with out -- al qaeda. i don't believe we had to of militarily go to war. i believe we had the option of attacking the taliban directly, plus i believe the taliban based upon statements they have made and that have been reported back, they themselves have come to question their deep association with foreigners which is what al qaeda is to them, but i think we have to accept the matter what happens in afghanistan at some point the south and the east of afghanistan is going to be dominated by postern political leaders which will be extraordinary conservative in behavior. what you call them technically taliban are not, there will be unattractive to each ticket -- features in terms of society. i think that is inevitable whether we have 100,000 american troops for five more years and six or seven more years. that will happen in any event. that is the future. at some point we have to be
willing to carry out a foreign policy that accepts a degree of local realities and limits. one of the problems with our policy in afghanistan is when we get too ambitious and to build respect, i believe, and of local culture and traditions and realities we are committing ourselves to an expensive policy that will not have an enduring benefit in any way that is commensurate with the military for human or economic investment we are making. >> could i say one thing? >> i will yield back to you. i am perfectly happy to let you pursue and close out the hearing. i have a 1259 need to go to, but i just want to weigh in before i go. this is very -- let me say first of all, the complexity of this and the difficulties of reaching an adequate definition and understanding what you are underlying premise is is obvious , it's complicated, not
easy. we have a bad habit. i want to pick up on what was just said. we have a habit of throwing out this idea of negotiating. we throw out this idea of achieving sufficient stability and this and that. but in the end could diplomacy and its failure, which is conflict and war, is usually based on people's perception about their interests. and it is one thing for us to sit here and talk about, you know, we are going to try and do this or that. here is our perception, but i find it very often not adequately based on and in the realities of the culture that we are in the midst of for their interests and the way that they see themselves playing out here. you know, most afghans don't want to see that taliban return. that is a reality.
i don't think enough of our discussion is taking that reality into account here. you know, poll after poll shows that that taliban to not have widespread support. they are not seeing to represent afghans or even postion interest in national basis. yet the current approach to negotiations, which we are putting on the table here, appears to be almost counterproductive in terms of some of our interest because it alienate some of the ethnic groups that don't feel represented. so you have postions who feel excluded by the negotiations. you have minority tajiks, uzbeks, and others vehemently against any kind of deal, and they still remember the atrocities of the 90's. you have afghan women who fear they are going to pay a very heavy price for peace as the
prospect of any of these negotiations. a civil society members are strongly opposed to a taliban return. it seems to me we ought to be able to factor those realities into where things may flow with less troops and with the afghans having -- sort of being forced to resolve these things for themselves with us there with a continuing capacity in terms of this question of incentive, what is happening in the incentive it signals we are sending. i don't see us saying we are abandoning or we are not going to be there to represent our interests also and work with them to go through that process. also even to prevent the taliban from making any kind of enormous significant gain. i might add that regionally there is a lot of anxiety about the taliban and coming back to power in any way. you have russia, central asian
republic, saudi arabia, india with varied degrees of and to -- antipathy in this seems to me that we could work more of a rel effort to try to deal with some of that reality than we have. a number of people have suggested there may be options with the stands and russia and other parties, including, i might add, iran that we have not adequately explored or put on the table. iran does not like the taliban. iran also does not like drug-trafficking. it seems to me there are legitimate interests here that ought to be explored in other ways as we go forward. so the pakistan piece of this is obviously critical. there are a lot of questions about that phrase in the wake of the events of the last hours, but i do think that we are going to have a hearing on that. i'd just summarize by saying
that i think we really have to do more work. that is the purpose of these hearings, to hone in on what the realities are that we are dealing with and what the possibilities are. we could spend a lot of money for a long time, and i tend to agree. i don't see a lot of indicators that is going to significantly change the dynamic on the ground. i think what is ultimately going to change it is afghans themselves feeling they have a state with a sense of what the long-term power broker structure is going to be. at think it could be significantly less prominently american and significantly less expensive. that is what we have to really examine here very carefully as we go forward. so i know this is worth a lot more discussion, which is why we will have five more hearings, including having the secretary of defense and secretary of
state come in toward the end and share their views with the administration. we will leave the record open for one week for colleagues to be able to submit questions in writing and even to follow up on some of those questions that have been placed the date. i am extremely grateful. i think that three of you have very effectively helped to frame the complexity and the realities of this debate. it is a good shaking, if you will, for our discussions as we go forward. i think you very much, and it has been profitable and helpful. if you would close out the hearing, i'd appreciate it. i apologize. do you want to ask a couple questions? now? we will then have the record available for any submission of additional questions. with that we stand adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
>> congratulations again to all the winners >> the democratic national committee yesterday formally elected representative debbie wasserman schultz as the chairwoman. she replaces tim kaine who resigned to pursue the democratic nomination for the u.s. senate in virginia. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> before i recognize my colleague, alice germond, for the determination of the koran, secretary alice germond, let me introduce our guests,
congressman mike condit will join us shortly. our national finance chair, jane stutzman. [applause] >> mr. ray buckley from the great state of new hampshire, our vice chair. [applause] >> and, of course, on my far left, but not too far, the honorable ms. linda chavez. [applause] >> and from a friend i have always considered to be a college in the bank of justice, our national treasurer. [applause] >> and a woman to lead us to victory in 2012, our current vice chair, the honorable debbie wasserman schultz is the chairwoman elect. [applause] >> and now for a woman who has
been a good friend and a great colleague, dnc secretary alice germond who will basically tell us if they form is present. madam secretary. [applause] >> thank you, chairwoman brazile. thank you, donna. [applause] >> as you know, our charter bylaws determine the requirements of a quorum for a meeting. for the record, there are 447 members of the democratic national committee. currently there are 440 serving. we have seven vacancies. our core am, therefore, will be 221. attending this meeting, we have 190 -- let's see. i want to get it exactly right. we have 196 members joining us
by telephone. we have 63 members in the room. we have 49 members who have submitted and have duly registered their proxies, for a total of 371. so we do indeed have a quorum of far more than the 241. i am so pleased that this enthusiastic group of democrats who are incredibly proud today, and every day of our president, and of our troops, and of our party, and of our values, and of our soon -- [applause] >> very soon to be elected new chair, debbie wasserman schultz. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, madam chair, the jury. i want to make a quick announcement. patrick gaspard, had a family
emergency so he's unable to join us. so please keep patrick sam in your thoughts and prayers. but also want to acknowledge all the staff, the interns, volunteers, of course the supporters of the democratic national committee, who are also here this afternoon. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, welcome to this historic meeting of the democratic national committee. we meet today as the democrats, but most of all as americans. we meet at a crucial moment when our nation needs leaders who are focused on fighting for our national security, our economic security, and our personal security. we are grateful beyond words for the hair wisdom of the navy seals, and for all our men and women, and the armed forces, who work without ceasing to keep our country safe.
[applause] >> many of their names are not known, but their deeds will never be forgotten. we pray for the safe return of our servicemen and women in afghanistan and iraq, and all across the world who risk their lives to defend our own. we also think of our countrymen and women in our nation's heartland who are putting their lives and their communities back together, in the aftermath of floods, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. my hometown of new orleans, the gulf coast, i know what they're going through.
and i know that all of americans open our hearts, and will open our hands to help them give back -- get back on their feet. we never forget our fellow citizens who are looking for work, but cannot find it. we know there are millions of americans are working part time but need to work full-time. we know that americans are working hard and smarter than ever before, and the need, their needs, and deserve a raise and their faith. we know that before president barack obama started on his job, the economy was bleeding 700,000 jobs a month. and now we are gaining jobs. although, it's still not enough. we know that when this president took office, the nation was on the brink of a depression, and
now we are on the threshold of the recovery. [applause] >> we know that none of us, especially the president or vice president, will be satisfied until every willing worker enjoys the opportunity for a steady job with writing -- rising wages, secure benefits, and a chance to advance. a commitment to jobs and justice is what makes us democrats. it is what sees us through the ups and downs of our nation's politics and the lasting challenges on our nation's history. over the past week we've seen what it means to have a president who is up to the job, in every way. [applause] >> e. him laughing and smiling at the white house correspondents dinner on saturday night, michelle was
there. you would never know, you would have never known that he knew that history will be made on sunday night. president obama displays a great sense of pressure that recalls all of his great predecessors from both major parties. remember this, while his harshest critics were consumed with questioning his natural born citizenship, president obama was quietly execute his role as commander-in-chief. this president displays the quiet trends and a sense of perspective that our times demand. i am proud to have served as interim chair of the democratic national committee under this president. [applause]
>> not bad for a former intern at the dnc. [laughter] >> trained me well. and i'm proud to support president obama in 2012. [cheers and applause] >> but today, i am proud to support and cast my ballot for our next chairwoman, debbie wasserman schultz. [applause] >> who will lead our party to victory in 2012, reelect the president, elect more democrats to united states house of representatives, to the united states senate, and state and municipal courthouse the. we are going to in 2012. [applause] >> one month ago you ought to be
but asking me to serve as interim chairwoman. my friends, you are looking at one temporary worker who is happily ready to return to her job. [laughter] >> being democratic national chairwoman was a part-time job, but, you know, me. and i know you. and for me, as for each and every one of you, being a democrat is a lifetime commitment. [applause] >> i am here because together with my family, my community, yes, my catholic church, the democratic party raised me, trained me, nurtured me and helped me work my way to a life beyond my greatest dreams. i'm here because when i was four, five, eight years of age, a democratic president and congress enacted civil rights
and voting rights and declared war on poverty. i am proud, a kid like me board and new orleans, a healthy life. i am a product of americans -- america's public schools. [applause] >> and a proud graduate of lsu. when i say the democrats must fight for working people, i remember my father, a korean veteran who were construction and still a train hit his back and he had to take a job as a janitor. my mother who trained as a teacher but worked most of her life as a domestic, the people i grew up with a sacrifice every day to give their kids a better tomorrow. when i say that politics can and must make a difference in peoples lives, i remember that it worked in my first campaign when i was only nine years old, for a candidate who promised a
playground for the kids in my community. and we mature, he kept that promise. [applause] >> as i return to my responsibilities, debbie, as vice chair for voter registration and participation, i could never forget what happened to my candidate, al gore, and my country in the year 2000, when we won the popular vote but lost the presidency because of the disenfranchisement in south florida. i know that our next national chairwoman, the pride of south florida, debbie wasserman schultz has never forgotten that national shame, and will fight as long and as hard as she can and as long as it takes to make sure that every american can and will have the right to vote and have that vote counted. [applause]
>> i'm proud of that. i stand you did it because the democratic party is a party of work, not waste. we are the party of opportunity, not privilege. we are in the party of progress, not gridlock. in that spirit i was proud to take charge him the former chair governor tim kaine whose rental united states senate in his home state of virginia. [applause] >> governor kaine is running against a rival who is rightly rejected by the voters six years ago, and they will reject him again. tim kaine is the next united states senator from the great state of virginia. we all know of his great accomplishments. he has been a tireless fighter for the middle class.
but for me, the window, and to tim's heart and his soul, is that he took a year off of law school to serve as a missionary in honduras. and then years later, he served as a fair housing advocate in richmond, virginia. 10 is a man of faith, a man of conscience and a man for all seasons to serve his fellow men and women. but today, we pass this great torch. we pass the torch with joy and gladness to debbie. debbie is a democrat through and through. she's a champion of shoulders, a strong supporter of senior citizens, and a warrior. oh, yes. and we need a warrior. a warrior for women's health. i can quote scripture right now and say that in the bible who said if she perished, debbie is a descendent from that. proud of you, debbie.
make no mistake. windows republicans decided to declare war on women's health, they must have forgotten that they were messing with debbie wasserman schultz. [applause] >> debbie has battled cancer herself. with every fiber of her being she cares for our mothers and grandmothers, our daughters and our sisters. and she will lead us in the fight for women's health. not because it is easy or expedient, but because it is decent and right. now, it's no secret that debbie and i come from different places, but our hearts are the same place. i grew up in a household with nine kids and had two working parents, so i'm glad our next national chairwoman is the working mom, is a working mom of three young children. she's got a nice husband, too. [laughter] >> where is steve?
[applause] >> i saw him with his cuffs on. he looks pretty good, debbie. what is that, 22 years of romance and love? you get flowers every other week. i love that, sugar. i said do you have a twin? when it comes to working families, debbie gets it. she understands. what ordinary people are fighting each and every day. for those who ask how can you multitask, i say get with it. she knows how to multitask. this is all of america. this is the to a first century. if you don't know how american families live now, you have no business trying to lead us into the future. now, i'm going to let you in on a little secret. data grew up in forest hills, new york. ou